Bugguong defines the Ilokano palate. Be it in the dinengdeng or in the pinakbet or simply in the famous Ilokano salsa called KBL (kamatis-bugguong-lasona). But besides the usual bugguong nga ikan like monamon and tirong, we ‘re also crazy about salt and preserve other river/sea produce with it to serve as an appetizer to our dinengdeng, fried fish, grilled meat, and the like. With squeeze of calamansi or dalayap, we relish saltiness with other bugguongs as other peoples in the archipelago delight in bagoong na alamang or guinamos.
I bought these for PhP90 each at roadside stall selling souvenir items, gamet and others at the Paraiso ni Anton park along the national highway in Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte. Quite pricey that makes these bugguongs a kind of luxury if not gourmet food. I may have even bought a bugguong a birabid but though I may gave in to its Php200/bottle tag, I didn’t have enough money that time. What the heck, I haven’t seen or tasted birabid for decades! Birabid is now very rare, if not kind of extinct already.